The first snowfall of November 2014 was just like every other first snowfall of winter—the roads become a black-and-white platform that robs otherwise mostly good drivers of rational thought and behaviour. In my most humble of opinions (and with about 20 collision-free Canadian winters under my belt), the majority of drivers can’t differentiate between driving over cautiously, driving too fast and—my favourite—alternating between both with every touch of the gas pedal. And everyone claims “the other drivers are idiots, not me!” OK, pseudo-rant complete.
The distance between my office in Port Credit and the Cooksville GO Station is five kilometres on the button. Google Maps claims it’ll take nine minutes to do the drive. On that snowy day, it took me three hours. 180 minutes. 10,800 seconds. All because two tractor trailers and a GO bus couldn’t make it up the hill at the Cooksville GO Station. And of course, I only realized this at the two-hour-50-minute mark of this journey, when I could finally see what was happening.
As only one person truly knows, I think far too much when I’m not talking. It’s like my mind is in 12th gear all the time in a six-speed car. Having the Range Rover Evoque for the week and being stuck for those three hours, the word evoke ran through my mind and how complex it can be. An image, song, phrase, or a word can stir up memories, and so can sitting in a certain car; the colour, the brand, the style. For me, any grey Volvo I see reminds me of my first car, while any Hyundai evokes memories of the first car I purchased. And any Land Rover reminds me one of the first vehicles I reviewed.
Booting around in the luxurious 2015 Evoque allowed me to create new memories of the Range Rover brand, with its masculine styling, tapered roof line and elegant packaging. Previously associated with pronounced near 90-degree angles, Range Rover has really done their homework and delivered with this offering. Evoque drivers have a wider than normal range of model options from which to find their optimal fit. The smart move was to offer one engine, which kicks out 240 horsepower and 250 lb.-ft. of torque married to a nine-speed 2.0-litre turbo-charged engine.
I do want to mention that that first snowy night wasn’t entirely awful, even though 50 percent of my drive home took three hours and the balance took under 10 minutes. I had to head up to rural Milton (Escarpment country) to take someone to feed/walk a dog, and part of that drive involved ascending a steep hill as the road transitioned from urban to rural. Conditions were not ideal, to say the least, but this strong and sturdy machine handled them well. With the Hill Descent Control and Traction Control System activated on the way down and nearly two decades of driving experience distributed through my hands and right foot, the task was a breeze.
Sharing A&W for dinner wrapped up the night nicely, and since my A&W visits are consistently inconsistent, this car will now evoke a memory of that food, along with the snow.
I realize I haven’t delved too far into just how much the Evoque has to offer: from the memorable driving dynamics, the precise engineering of the cabin, the clear and powerful sound system (that’s a big one for me), and the smooth and comfortable drive. For now, I encourage you to think of what your car, current or past, evokes and reflect that nobody in the world has the same memory as you.